Adventure Sports Travel Insurance

Compare travel insurance policies with Savvy to help you find suitable adventure sports cover.

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, updated on September 4th, 2023       

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If you’re someone who enjoys partaking in either leisurely or more activities whilst on holiday, it’s worth looking into cover for any adventure sports or activities which you may partake in. Travelling with that extra bit of protection can be crucial to holidaymakers, which is why it’s important to compare your options with Savvy.

You can consider offers from some of Australia’s leading travel insurance companies all in one place to help put you in a position to make a more informed call on which policy and sports cover are best for you. Start the process of comparing with us today to help you access the cover you need sooner, whether you’re up for a spot of golf or a more extreme sport.

Which adventure sports are covered under travel insurance?

When it comes to cover for adventure sports and activities, these will fall into two categories: automatic cover under standard travel insurance policies or optional cover able to be added to your policy by paying an extra premium. It’s important to compare these between insurers to make sure that your desired activity is a) covered and b) affordable to cover.

In terms of some of the key activities which can be automatically included under your travel insurance policy without having to purchase additional cover, these can include:

  1. Cycling (including guided cycling tours)
  2. Golfing
  3. Gym workouts (excluding powerlifting)
  4. Hiking (below 3,000m with no specialist equipment required)
  5. Horse riding
  6. Ice skating
  7. Indoor rock climbing
  8. Snorkelling and underwater diving (with breathing equipment and at no greater than 10m deep)

There’s also a long list of activities not eligible for cover under your standard policy unless you pay extra for them. These may be advertised as being part of an ‘adventure pack’ and can include the following:

  1. Basic boxing training
  2. Contact sports (such as rugby, basketball and American football)
  3. Hiking (below 6,000m with no specialist equipment required)
  4. Motorcycle, moped or scooter riding (with a helmet and all required licences)
  5. Scuba diving (up to ten nautical miles from land)
  6. Underwater diving (with breathing equipment at no greater than 30m deep)

However, it’s also important to be aware of the activities which won’t be covered under your travel insurance policy. These will also vary between insurers, so it’s important to keep this in mind when comparing offers. Some of the activities which are commonly excluded from standard insurance coverage are:

  1. Exploration or travel to inaccessible destinations
  2. Any shooting outside of fixed targets and clay pigeons
  3. Professional or competition sport
  4. Vehicle racing

Additionally, there are several key factors which can ultimately void your claim, even if the activity you’re partaking in is otherwise covered by your insurance or added extra. These include:

  1. Travelling against government or medical advice
  2. Being under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the incident
  3. Not following insurance guidelines (such as riding a motorcycle without a helmet)
  4. Breaking local laws or rules

Can I be covered for any extreme sports under my travel insurance policy?

Yes – on top of standard adventure sports, you may also be covered for a range of extreme sports. Once again, these will depend on your choice of insurer and the level of cover you take out, but the following can be included automatically:

  1. Bungee jumping
  2. Paintballing (with eye protection)
  3. White water rafting (graded between I and III on the International Scale of River Difficulty)

Additionally, these extreme sports and activities will be part of added “packs” as offered by your insurer and will require an extra premium:

  1. Abseiling
  2. Outdoor rock climbing
  3. Heliskiing
  4. Skiing and snowboarding cover
  5. White water rafting (graded either IV or V on the International Scale of River Difficulty)
  6. Zip lining

However, one extreme sport which won’t be covered by your travel insurance policy is BASE jumping. This stands for buildings, antenna, spans and earth and is considered too risky by travel insurance companies to be offered under any sort of policy.

What types of travel insurance can I take out to access adventure sports cover?

There’s a range of different policy types to which you can add adventure sports cover, so it’s important to consider which is most suitable for your travelling needs. These include:

Basic or comprehensive insurance

Whether you take out basic or comprehensive insurance will impact what you can claim for under your policy. Basic travel insurance is commonly known as medical-only insurance, as it covers you for medical costs, personal liability and not much else. Some insurers will allow you to add adventure sports cover so you can claim for any injuries which come about as a result of your participation.

Comprehensive travel insurance offers greater coverage and will also enable you to make a claim for any of the following if they occur due to a covered activity:

  • Cancellation of bookings such as guided tours or other trips
  • Damage to or loss of personal effects such as electronics, jewellery and other insured valuables
  • Personal liability up to a greater limit (up to $5 million)

Single-trip, annual or one-way insurance

Each of these policies can be used to access adventure sports cover. The differences between them lie in who they’re suited for. Single-trip insurance covers one round trip starting and ending in Australia, annual insurance covers multiple trips (usually up to 90 days total) over 12 months and one-way insurance covers overseas travel without a return ticket booked for up to 12 months.

International or domestic insurance

Whether you’re skiing in Mount Buller or making the trip to Europe for a holiday in the snow, sports cover will be available. The key difference between the two is that domestic travel insurance doesn’t cover medical costs, while international insurance does.

Family or group insurance

Finally, you may be able to add cover for a range of adventure activities to either a family insurance policy (which can cover up to two parents and your children) or one for a larger group of up to 25. These will often both be better options than purchasing individual policies, particularly when purchasing specific adventure cover.

How else should I compare travel insurance policies with adventure sports cover?

Aside from the inclusions and exclusions of each policy and the specifics of their adventure activity cover, some of the key areas to consider when comparing your options with Savvy to help find the best policy for you are:

  • Premium cost: while cost isn’t everything, it’s still important. Compare quotes to determine which policies and additional sports plans offer the most suitable coverage at a reasonable price.
  • Excess requirements: if you’re wondering what an excess is, it’s the sum you pay your insurer when you make a claim. Different companies will have different requirements for adventure excesses (which are likely to come with a higher minimum).
  • Pre-existing conditions: travel insurance will automatically cover some pre-existing conditions (such as offering cover for diabetes in some cases) but not others (like heart and liver conditions). Compare to make sure your condition is covered and that you won’t have to pay too much to do so.
  • Countries covered: of course, it’s crucial to make sure your destination can be covered by your insurance. Some potential holidays, such as travel to Jordan and Oman, may not be covered for various safety reasons.

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More common questions about travel insurance with adventure sports cover

Can I take out adventure sports cover as a senior traveller?

Yes – however, it’s likely to be more expensive for you to do so. Because insurance companies see older travellers as being at greater risk of suffering an injury, cover for an inherently more hazardous activity will increase your premiums further. Additionally, some insurers will prevent those above a certain age from accessing cover for particular activities, such as capping skiing cover at 70 years old.

Is adventure sports cover open to pregnant travellers?

You may be able to take out cover for adventure activities whilst pregnant, but this will depend on your insurer and how far along in your pregnancy you are. However, if you’ve been advised against particular activities by your doctor (which will be the case throughout pregnancies), any claim made will likely be voided.

How do I make a claim under my travel insurance policy?

Claiming as part of your adventure sports cover is a simple process which can be completed online through your insurer’s site. Once you double-check that you’re covered to claim for that event, the general steps to follow are:

  • Fill out the claims form with as much detail as possible
  • Provide any supporting documentation such as medical certificates, receipts or police reports
  • Await a response from your insurer and, if successful, receive the funds to cover the cost of your expenses (less the excess)
Will I be able to add extreme sports cover to my cruise insurance?

Yes – cruise cover is something which can be added to your policy in much the same way as extreme sports insurance (if it isn’t automatically included in your policy), so you can access adventure cover whilst at sea.

Why is travel insurance more expensive for some destinations than others?

The cost of insurance to different countries is based on several variables but boils down to the likelihood of a claim being made and the cost of a claim. For example, countries with expensive healthcare systems like the United States are often among the costliest to insure, as are those which have a reputation for things like natural disasters and crime.

Can I get travel insurance with COVID-19 cover?

Yes – there are insurers who offer a level of COVID-19 cover on their policies, which is particularly useful if it’s the reason for having to cancel a particular booking related to an adventure sport. This can also cover your medical expenses stemming from a COVID-19 infection.

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We do not compare all travel insurance brands currently operating in the market. Any advice presented above or on other pages is general in nature and does not consider your personal or business objectives, needs or finances. It’s always important to consider whether advice is suitable for you before purchasing an insurance policy.

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Before purchasing your policy, we recommend you refer to the provider’s PDS for any further information on the terms, inclusions and exclusions.